La Svolta A Leisurely Slice of Italy
By Jessica Williams
Follow her food adventures at @jsallgoodthings
For a warm and inviting, traditional Italian experience, La Svolta - just off Chapel Street in Prahran - ticks all the boxes. The cozy atmosphere of the eatery on Cecil Place invites you to enjoy a leisurely meal and the AVPN rating means that excellent, thin crust, Naples approved pizza awaits. Feel no shame in ordering items from the Antipasti, Primi, Secondi and Pizza menus - there is no one that is going to rush you through your Italian experience. Take your time, just save room for dessert! And they have a new autumn menu that beckons!
The staff is a wonderful help at navigating the menu, explaining the many daily specials written up on the blackboard and recommending drinks and further accompaniments to make the meal one to remember.
An Italian glass of dark, rich red wine arrives with an Antipasti platter. Mushrooms, mortadella, prosciutto, mixed olives, bread sticks and croutons smeared with a thick layer of avocado crowd the wooden board. There is also a bready, bun type item to one corner, which the waiter said “sent him back to Italy” for a moment when he took his first bite. The soft white bread with a dollop of tomato sauce encases a cheesy, warm centre – it is easy to imagine this type of bakery item lining the front window of a Venice deli.
While pizza was tempting, pasta specials on this particular occasion were impossible to refuse. Expect generous portions and hearty meals to emerge from the La Svolta kitchen.
The Squid Ink Linguini from the Specials Board is served with a generous amount of cuttlefish and big, sweet cherry tomatoes. And while the black pasta dish can be a difficult one to consume without mess, the flavours are well worth the potential dangers that emerge upon consumption.
The Prosciutto Agnolotti swims in sage butter. The stuffing is double boiled, the waiter explains, which renders the prosciutto with a milder flavour, but it is beautifully moreish and tender.
A series of desserts line the display case of the restaurant; tiramisu, gelato and chocolate pizza are all on offer. But on this particular occasion it’s a beautiful dome of dark chocolate, protecting a fluffy chocolate mousse and crumbly biscuit base that impresses, Chantilly cream adds further decoration to this dish.
Add the Italian dessert wine to your order for the perfect night cap, the heavy amber liquid isn’t as sweet as you may expect, but beware, it’s just as potent!
La Svolta is an affordable restaurant and a great place to take refuge from the loud Chapel Street bars and busy crowds and indulge in some beautiful Italian fare.